Great Britain's task of reaching the Davis Cup World Group for the first time since 2008 has been made tougher by the news that their play-off tie away in Croatia will take place on clay in Umag on 13-15 September.
Home of the Croatia Open, Umag will pose a tough test for a GB team led by world No.3 Andy Murray who will be fresh from having defended his US Open title at Flushing Meadows just four days previous.
The Olympic gold medallist was unavailable for the 3-2 win over Russia in March as he prepared for the clay-court season, and will be required to switch back to the surface in the early autumn despite the American hard-court season being in full swing.
GB captain Leon Smith said: "We look forward to the challenge of an away tie on clay & will be ready for this all important match."
Croatia will be led by world No.11 Marin Cilic in Umag, and despite the clay putting the visitors at a disadvantage, the former Australian Open semi-finalists had previously revealed a preference for the tie to be played on a hard court.
"Clay is more difficult, more demanding in all aspects and in other ways, hard courts suit British players so we're going to have to balance it up," Cilic said. "I would say from my perspective it could be hard courts, indoors."
Britain, with Murray in toe, defeated Croatia 4-1 in 2007, confirming their place in the World Group for the following year, and Smith's team face an identical task to prevent their absence from Davis Cup's top table extending into a sixth year.